Location: Redstone Theater
Dir. Joseph L. Mankiewicz. 1963. 250 mins. 70mm. With Elizabeth Taylor, Richard Burton, Rex Harrison, Pamela Brown, George Cole, Hume Cronyn, Martin Landau, Roddy McDowall. In this epic story about love and power, the legendary Egyptian queen tries to use her beauty to conquer the Roman Empire. Notorious for its protracted production schedule and enormous sets, Cleopatra was, to date, the most expensive film ever made; it was a flop for Twentieth Century Fox in spite of its being the top-grossing film in 1963. Behind-the-scenes intrigue also contributed to its status as a colossal cultural event – first, Liz Taylor almost died from pneumonia, and then she began an affair with co-star Richard Burton. Their real-life chemistry intensifies the performances onscreen in this colorful spectacle from a script by Joseph Mankiewicz. The photography is by the great Leon Shamroy (Leave Her to Heaven, Planet of the Apes).
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